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What are you currently reading?
I just picked up Lucky by Jackie Collins. The heroine I’m currently writing in my erotic novella, Hard Trigger, has a similarly intense past that brings her into the sordid, high society of Mexico City and the novella covers a lot of ground, both geographically and historically. I’ve also never read Jackie Collins, the queen of romance and scandal. This seems an opportune time.
Do you have a favorite author? Who is it?
I actually don’t have a favorite author. I read a lot of different genres and love skipping from one author to another; some very well known, like Margaret Atwood, and some that are as indie as indie gets, like Mia Hopkins. My favorite authors lean in the direction of romance and women’s fiction (I love Candace Bushnell), but I love throwing a good thriller (I’ve really enjoyed Gillian Flynn) or horror into the mix.
When did you start writing?
I wrote my first piece of fiction, a short story called The Dentist and The Toothfairy, in 2004. This was published as a graphic novel in 2005. It was a challenging and laborious project because I was coordinating with an artist, but I was extremely proud of the final product.
Why do you write?
I need to do something with all the stories in my head. It’s both a personal challenge as well as incredibly rewarding when I get an email from a reader expressing how much they’ve enjoyed one of my books, or how they can’t wait for the next one, or when I’ve received a super-stellar review. Writing is hard work so you have to really want to do it.
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
The Need is an erotic thriller. It’s dark, edgy, and very psychological. The sex scenes are explicit, and there is quite a bit of violence. I know that sounds more like a disclaimer than a demographic, but I don’t like to draw too many boxes. Romance readers have contacted me saying that The Need is not a typical erotic romance but that they really enjoyed the read. The manuscript won a New Adult contest. I’ve even had Young Adult readers contact me to tell me that they’ve never read anything like The Need before but are glad they did. The Need brings many different elements and themes into play, which may be why it has such a broad appeal.
If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? Why? What would you say to them?
Anais Nin was, above everything else, a journaler. I know, that’s not a real word, but as a journaler myself from elementary school, I think it’s fantastic that her journals became such a voice for the sexual and emotional awakening of women. She was also alive during such a fascinating time in history, two world wars, the dawn of travel and media, and feminism as we know it in the modern age. I would thank her for making me feel normal about my sexual desires.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Particularly for The Need, I was inspired by the screenplay my husband wrote. The Need started out as a spec script that my husband was hired to write in 2009. Unfortunately, the financing for the project fell through, which happens a lot in Hollywood. My husband shopped the script to a few more interested producers and agents, but that certain bit of magic that you need to make a movie come to life did not materialize.
I loved the story. Two strong female characters that get twisted into this dark love affair…it was the distraction I was looking for at the time (late 2012), so I asked my husband if I could adapt his screenplay into a book. He loved the idea, and in 2015, The Need was born.
Tell us about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
I worked with Joshua Jadon (http://joshuajadon.com/) on the cover for The Need. I stumbled upon his work on Instagram and decided to give it a shot. His prices were very reasonable and he was fairly easy to stay in touch with during the process, even though you can only contact him via email. His first shot out the gate was actually pretty good, but it was definitely a collaborative process to get to the final cover.
Who would you cast for the main characters if your book became a movie?
I like Diane Kruger for Heather, and Sophie McShera for Angie.
Diane Kruger I most recently saw in her role as Bridget von Hammersmark in The Inglorious Bastards and Sophie McShera played Daisy Mason in her role on Downton Abbey. I’m picking these two actors specifically because they portray the physical differences and age differences of Heather and Angie. Heather is a tall, older, street-smart woman, and Angie is a petite, young, naïve, woman, visibly uncomfortable in her skin.
How about an excerpt from your book meant to capture our imagination and make us want to read more?
Her chest sinks into mine, making it hard to breathe. “You came home with me for a reason, Angie. You wanted to learn something about yourself. I don’t have to make up some exorbitant lie to make you stay. You want to stay.” She loosens her grip around my wrists. “You know that craving you felt, and the anticipation, and then when I finally touched you…” Her fingers drag slowly down my arms and sides. “And let you unleash…” She grabs firmly onto my hips. “You know that was just the tip of the iceberg and there’s so much more for us to explore.”
Flashes of the last forty-eight hours replay in my mind. Watching her dance, the thrill of letting loose with her, the incredible orgasm. But then she tied me to her bed, and those prophetic photos, and the taser…
“You drugged me. And hurt me—”
“How do you think we learn about ourselves, Angie? By being comfortable and not pushing our boundaries? By always feeling safe?” Her lips pause at my chin and the smell of coffee is heavy on her breath. “You want to go home? Believe his excuses and go back to status quo? That’s always going to be there for you. But this, and me…if you walk away now, you may regret it forever. What’s a couple more days?”
I go limp under her. My emotions completely torn. How can I trust a woman who has threatened my life? And yet there’s truth in her words.
GENRE: Erotic Thriller
Stood up by her boyfriend, she goes home with a woman…
Straight-laced coed Angie has never felt daring enough to…experiment. Until tonight. The skin around Heather’s lips is soft, unlike the stubble Erik lets grow in, and the night unfolds like an erotic dream, tapping into an unexplored part of Angie’s body and mind.
But Heather’s seduction turns into a nightmare when Angie wakes up tied to the bed and is told she can’t leave. Alternately seduced and tormented by her lover-turned-captor, Angie is pulled ever deeper into a twisted world of pain-for-pleasure and multimedia exploits. As the stakes rise, both women give into a desire for connections neither has had, and Angie’s struggle to escape becomes a bigger dilemma: Would she leave if she could?
Winner of the Golden Palm Contest for New Adult Romance, this erotic thriller dares to explore the darker side of our fantasies and their sometimes unintended consequences.
5 **** – Sexually charged page-turner
** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
The title for my review doesn’t do justice to the book in the sense that it’s so much more than my title suggests. You’ll find hot sex, mind games, plot twists, complex characters, lust, trust issues, dark feelings, kinks, and a lot more stuff in-between. I generally don’t spoil books when I review them and I’m not going to start now. I’m just going to say you will not see it coming until it hits you in the face.
As an avid reader and a writer in the erotica genre, I know how rare it is to find good plots so I was thrilled to get to know Hannah’s work. And what an introduction this was!! She hooks you in right from the first scene and weaves the story skillfully, balancing out the ups and downs so that you’re never bored or overwhelmed. Fair warning – there are dark and disturbing scenes, which might cause discomfort to some readers. Again, not giving any spoilers.
I recommend this novella to readers who enjoy highly well-written stories, which lean towards the wild side but are impossible to put down.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
S.L. Hannah was born in Poland, grew up in Canada, and moved to Southern California to pursue her love of single-engine airplanes. The Need is her first erotic thriller. The manuscript won the 2013 Florida Romance Writers Golden Palm Contest for New Adult Romance, and is an adaptation of a screenplay about a woman struggling to free herself from her lover’s physical and emotional binds. Buzz about the break-out novel calls it “one powerful piece of writing…creepy as hell.” S.L. Hannah lives in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not writing fiction, she continues to solve the aviation problems of the world.